An interview with Len Bickford

Photo:Len Bickford and sister at Weir Pond Rd

Len Bickford and sister at Weir Pond Rd

Photo:Len and siblings at Weir Pond Rd

Len and siblings at Weir Pond Rd

Part 1

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I was born in Rochford Hospital and we lived at 53 Weir Pond Road, Rochford. I attended Rochford Primary School and then the Rochford Secondary Modern (now King Edmund’s School). My dad was a painter and decorator and my mum worked as an orderly at Rochford Hospital, eventually qualifying as an auxiliary nurse.
In all, I spent 21 years in Rochford and Hullbridge before moving to Maldon to take a job with the police.

Because the same children went through primary and secondary school, we made friendships some of which lasted a lifetime. Rochford Primary School then had big playing fields at the back of the school buildings, and I always enjoyed sports days there. One day, a bull escaped from a farmer’s field near Ironwell Lane and got onto the playing fields. Fortunately, it was recaptured safely.

Rochford Secondary Modern opened in September 1961 and I was among the first intake.  We had Mr French for Geography and History. My best memories of school were the camaraderie with classmates rather than lessons, though!

I joined the Life Boys (in the congregational church in North Street) and then went on to the Boys Brigade before joining the Army Cadets (until I was 15, when I left school). When I left school, I got a job labouring in Southend and worked on the construction of Coleman House.

I got married in June 1971, after which my wife and I lived in Westcliff and then in Leigh. In 1974, we moved to Hullbridge where a worked as a digger driver and general labourer. An industrial accident made me rethink my career options and in the late 70s, I joined the police in Maldon.

Click here for Part 2

This page was added by Helen Barnard on 30/06/2012.
Comments about this page (Add a comment about this page)

Hi Len, long time no see.

I went to school with Len. I have very fond memories of all those days. Lovely to see you in print.

God Bless.

By Bill McElligott
On 09/12/2014

I too left Rochford Secondary modern School in 1956 and recall all those staff. I accidentally let off a firework whilst George Sime was cycling past with inevitable consequences. I was a gnome in a school operetta once! Fellow pupils included Brian Blackwood and Yvonne Pullen. My proudest moment was the publication of a wartime poem in the school magazine.

By John Wilby
On 07/12/2013

I left Rochford secondary school in 1956. As I remember the School was opened in 1937. I do rember Mr French also George Sime, Mrs Pauly Harry Gorner, and the headmaster was Mr Geotge Wallis Cox. I also remember the Bickford twins. The other teachers names will come to me sometime soon.

By Ian Hines
On 06/09/2012
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